Murder-for-hire trial delayed after shooting

FRESNO, Calif.

Action News was first to report the connection between the shooting and the trial against Daljit Singh Multani, months after we uncovered details of the secretly recorded conversations that led to Multani's arrest in April.

His trial was postponed for about two months Wednesday because the informant who turned him in is now in the hospital.

Action News talked to another potential witness in the case who says he fears for his life, but Multani's lawyer says nobody has anything to worry about from his client.

Clovis police haven't solved the shooting that prompted a SWAT scene Tuesday, but the victim is already scheduled to testify in court.

Joe Yzaguirre has testified before.

An Action News camera spotted him walking into court in June.

We're blurring his image because he's the police informant who secretly wore a wire and recorded his boss at Multani's Towing and Limo company.

In a series of those recorded conversations, Multani offered cash to hire a hitman to kill Fresno Planning Commissioner Rama Dawar.

Multani's former investor and friend had recently filed a lawsuit against him.

Defense attorney Tony Capozzi admits his client said he wanted Dawar dead.

But Capozzi claims Multani eventually decided not to go through with it and Yzaguirre set him up.

He also says Yzaguirre may have had something to do with his own shooting, the day before Multani's trial was scheduled to start.

"I think this witness is a very devious person, very manipulative and I wouldn't put it past him to work something out to have this happen before this trial," said Capozzi.

He says Yzaguirre is also involved as an informant in some other trials, which could've made him a target.

And while he wouldn't rule out involvement in the shooting by someone associated with Multani, he says there's no way his client had anything to do with the shooting.

"His telephone calls have been recorded by the jail," Capozzi said. "His mail has been examined. Nothing has ever been brought up of any threats to anybody by my client."

Clovis police and the Fresno County district attorney's office are not commenting on Yzaguirre's condition Wednesday.

But the state evidence code allows prosecutors to use his previous testimony if he's unavailable.

The case is now set for trial in late January.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.